The White Report

Catherine White connects and creates worth through powerful story telling

What Really Get’s Your Goat on Twitter?

with 12 comments

There are some people who add value to your day. They provoke thought, post interesting material, and are all round really lovely.

One such friend is Robin Dickinson. He’s very serious about the business of helping, and inspiring others.

He recently asked:

‘What’s something that people do on Twitter that really bothers you?

After thinking about his question, my conclusion was not much. How other’s run their stream, is their business.

My online policy is simple; tweet and let tweet.

Sure, others have their proclivities, as do I.

Indeed, there are times when I’m up for conversation, however despite my regular tweeting, I listen more than I talk.

It’s not what others do, but what they don’t do that get’s my goat.

What get’s my goat is a lack of critical thinking, shallow research and a lack of questions. In this information age, there’s no excuse for rent an opinion, or living our life on the quote of the day.

What do I say to you, if I get your goat? If I offend (I’m sure I will) or you need a favour, all I ask is you frame your question sweetly. Do unto me as you would like others to do unto you.

How is twitter any different to real life? In real life I greet my neighbour with a smile, stay under the radar when I’m having a bad hair day, and rather than call the police, wear ear plugs when they are entertaining.

To answer your question Robin, my policy is tweet and read the tweet.

Failing that …

Written by Catherine White

May 3, 2010 at 11.27 am05

12 Responses

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  1. Who is the anonymous spell check police??????? Give me a break at least show who you are if you are gonna (oh should I say ‘going to instead of gonna) pick up peoples errors. THATS the type of thing that annoys me on social media… people who say things without identifiyying themselves… oops!! too many yys
    Keep up the good work Catherine, your topics are always interesting. Valerie x


    May 4, 2010 at 11.27 am05

  2. I find twitter endlessly fascinating Catherine and like you often find myself just listening. I also realise it’s very revealing and not just about others but about myself.
    I am often surprised at how much we are willing to let others know and see.

    Like you Bart ‘My goat is got’ by DM’s with links to check stuff out but even more… when I open the link all of a sudden there is a ‘pop up’ to capture my info!
    I know there is research to say this is a great marketing tool but sorry it’s inelegant and crass – white shoe brigade. Please allow me to peruse the information and decide at my leisure if I would like to add my name to the database.

  3. Hi there, great discussion. It is refreshing to see that there are some very intelligent people using Twitter as opposed to the many who seem to be using it as a medium to ‘flog’ useless information. This is what gets my goat. DMW & Robin I look forward to reading more of your informative opinions and information. I am very new to Twitter and it’s great to be able to interact with ‘real’ people. Cheers


    May 3, 2010 at 11.27 pm05

    • Hi Jodi

      Your raise one of the biggest objections to Twitter. Certainly, so many profiles are nothing short of fronts for snake oil schemes. Undoubtedly, this element is prevalent across all platforms on the internet.

      Preying on people’s lack of knowledge and fears is the undergirding principle behind these Schemes. Notwithstanding, there are so many on Twitter who genuinely want to help and inspire others by providing reliable information.

      Thank you for the kind compliment Jodi, you’ve brightened my day.

      Warm regards
      Catherine :-)

  4. I think you’re the kind of person who’d probably like to know that it’s ‘they’re’ not ‘their’

    :: ‘wear ear plugs when **their** entertaining

    a reader

    May 3, 2010 at 11.27 am05

    • I certainly do – thank you for bringing that to my attention, that one trips me to this day. Also one of the hazards of posting when insomnia is on the prowl.

      Pleased to hear from you dear reader

  5. Great discussion, great people you are Catherine and Robin – so glad to know you. I think we will be friends for a long time.

    I agree with everything you both say. Some tweets “get my goat” for the same reasons you both outline Catherine and Robin. It’s in my nature not to “bite” though and I don’t stay bothered for long. As long as people tweet around the values I admire (relationships, community, connecting, sharing, learning & helping others) then I continue to follow.

    Unlike that “Dunbar number” (150 people) I follow many more (all of interest to me in some way) and rarely unfollow. I manage with Twitter Lists to curate several interesting streams, some private, some public. You can see my public lists here: Catherine welcome to my “Inspiring Women” list! (Robin you are on a private list for now – all will be revealed in timte! ;-)

    Thanks for sharing this Catherine – stimulating ideas and discussion.


    • Why thank you for the inspiring inclusion Tony, I’m honoured indeed.

      I agree with your view in respect to shared values and interests. Even so, human nature being what it is, you can be sure we will rub each other the wrong way.

      Handling differences and disagreements takes maturity, and a recognition you don’t lose anything of yourself when you make room for others.

      Enjoy the day

  6. Thank you Robin, indeed it was you who created this forum. 140 characters wasn’t enough for my reply.

    I agree with you about cyber bullying and unruly behaviour.

    In fact, a Facebook relative deleted me after I called her on her overbearing behaviour.

    One of two forums I moderate on SpeakerSite ‘leadership and mentor think tank’ occasionally requires me to step in when a discussion goes off the rails.

    Added to that, my myspace page became the subject of a great deal of cyber hate.

    Personality types remain the same on and offline.

    After ten years online I delete and unfollow very quickly.

    Thank you for asking the question Robin

  7. Thanks Bart, and tend to agree.

    I always receive DM’s like an unwanted caller at the door selling a specific brand of religion

  8. This is such an interesting topic, Catherine. Thank you for creating this discussion forum.

    What intrigues me most about Twitter is that we get micro-vignettes of behaviour from a slice of humanity.

    Watching tweet streams reminds me of looking under a microscope as a junior scientist at the chaos of bugs in a hay infusion. Small, Paramecium-like dots of life buzzing, dashing, chasing – going somewhere, but who knows where?!

    I love people and get excited about the breadth, depth and variety of their ‘breathed out’ responses on Twitter (and the other social palettes).

    But what moves me the most is how people respond to others – what get’s people interested, inspired, motivated – even, what ‘goat getters’.

    It’s a kaleidoscope of rich inputs – treasures to be built upon, explored and shared.

    To your topic – what get’s *my* goat?

    Probably – rudeness, bullying, inane and endless me-casting, and ‘safe/boring’ noise that adds nothing to the community.

    What ‘gives’ my goat – if there is such an expression?

    Generosity, sharing, encouragement, challenging the status quo and venturing out from the safety of the shore of the ‘land of the known’ to the ‘land of the yet to be discovered’!

    Best to you and all your readers,


    Robin Dickinson

    May 3, 2010 at 11.27 am05

  9. Love the topic. I tend to have the same philosophy, though I do have one goat getting peeve that others do to me – it seems to be prevalent lately that when I follow someone they always DM me with a link to “Check out this…” or something like that. I don’t know you yet. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I want to see your bits and bytes first.

    I always DM, when someone follows me, with a thanks for the follow and the question “I am always interested in why folks follow me. Care to share?”


    May 3, 2010 at 11.27 am05

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